Advanced Weightlifting Techniques

Jay Benoit
[email protected]
Renegade & Exponent Edge

A detailed guide designed to help you find new and advanced techniques to add to your programming, help break through plateaus and give your self some variety and challenege in the gym.

Advanced Weightlifting Techniques w/Definition

A list of various advanced training techniques with definitions and how to incorporate them into your programming. 

Specific Number of Reps: You are targeting a certain number of reps and move up when you hit it across all or a specific number of sets.

Muscular Endurance Rep Range: 15+ Reps Completed

High Reps: 12-15 You are completing Higher Reps and Lower Intensity

Medium Reps 6-12 Your completing Medium Reps and Medium Intensity

Low Reps 1-6 You are completing Lower Reps but with Higher Intensity

Pyramids-High, Low, High or Low, High, Low: You use a pyramid design to your repetitions and you increase the weight and come back down or vice versa.

Strip Sets: Here, you complete a set, strip the weight and do another set, without rest. 
Typical workouts call for 2 - 4 strip sets in a row. 

Compound Sets: Here you complete exercise A and then move on to exercise B, with no or minimal rest and each exericse is for a different muscle group. 

Single, Single, Double: In this case, you perform a single rep, another single rep and then a double. 

21's: You break the movement into 3 portions of the lift.
Three Portions (e.g. Barbell Curls) (1) The first half of the motion, mid-point to top of motiong and complete 7 reps, then complete 7 reps with the bottom to mid=point range of motion and then complete by doing 7 full repetitions

Concentric Sets: Here you focus on the concentric portion of the lift with short eccentric portions to be as strong as possible for the concentric portion. Try to spend two to three times longer in the concentric portion.

Eccentric Sets: For eccentric sets you exaggerate the eccentric portions of a lift. This usually consists of anywhere between 3 to 5 seconds. Then perform the concentric portion.

Pause Sets: You complete the normal motion of an exercise but pause at the sticking point for 1 - 3 seconds.  Then continue with the lift.

Advanced Weightlifting Techniques

Expolsion Sets: Complete sets as quickly as possible with a fast tempo. This technique is great for explosiveness and HIIT and HIIWT training.

Tri-Sets: You complete three exercise, for the same body part, all in a row with little to no rest between exercises.

Monster Sets: Instead of a tri-set, you do a Giant or Monster set of 5+ exercises or more for the same body apart all in a row. Complete with no or minimal rest between exercises.

Renegade Graduals: This can be performed as either a gradual decrease in reps on successive sets or an increase in reps in successive sets. 
Graduals Decrease - In this scenario you gradually increase the weight for each successive set.
Graduals Increase - Here you gradually decrease the weight for each successive set.
You perform this over as many sets as you would like.

Short Rest: This is imply completing sets with short rest periods between sets, usually described as 30 - 60 seconds. Typical rest periods used by Body Builders

Moderate Rest: This is imply completing sets with moderate rest periods between sets, usually described as 60 - 120 seconds rest. 

Long Rest: This is imply completing sets with long rest periods between sets, usually described as 3 - 5 minutes. Typical rest periods for powerlifters and those focused on strength.

Circuit Training: You complete multiple exercises, for different body parts, all in a row or with short rest in between each exercise. It can be as low as 3 exercises or up to as high as 10. It can be as few or as many as you want. 

Slow Tempo Reps: Slowly completed reps, usually 8+ secs for the entire ROM 

1-10 Method: This method involves completing one rep, dropping the weight and doing 2 reps and so on all the way to a final set of 10 reps. You can do this with no rest or rest as you would normally use between sets.
10 -1 Method: This method involves completing 10 reps, then perform 9 reps and so on all the way to a final set of 1 rep. You can do this with no rest or rest as you would normally use between sets.

Max Effort: Gradually work up to your 1RM. Typical progression looks like this and the only set you go to failure or 10 RPE is your last max set (20, 15, 10, 8, 5, 3, 1, 1 - at 10 RPE)

Century Sets: You complete 100 Reps over a target of 5 sets of 20, or as many sets as it takes to get to 100 reps.

Advanced Weightlifting Techniques

Mechanical Advantage Drop Sets (MADS): These are sets where you are using the same weight obut you start with weaker to stronger exercise e.g. High Incline to Flat Bench 

Deficit Work This is where you perform exercises from a raised position. Example - Squats on Plates.

EDT Density Work: Is completed by choosing antagonist muscles and a weight near a 10 RM. you alternate exercises, use the same weight throughout a given time frame e.g. 15 minutes and complete 5 reps in an alternating fashion. You can set a specific time for rest or start the need to one whenever you want and your reps will drop as you fatigue.

(1) Skill Method - Complete exercises in order of Highest Skill & Non-Competing Exercise Order, no heavier than 10RM on weakest exercise
(2) Weight Method - This is where you use the exact same weight for different exercises, one after another, knowing rep ranges will differ for each exercise. 
(3) Rep Method - You perform exercises targeting roughly the same number of reps for every exercise, knowing you will use different weights for each.

Descending Pyramid Training (DPT): Short sets with descending numbers of reps (same exercise) or also unilateral exercises as well e.g. 5 curls left arm, then right and drop to 4 reps continued all the wayd down to 1.

Loaded Stretching: Take a moderate weight and lower it to the maximum stretched position and hold it. You are resisting load in a stretched position.

20 Rep Technique: Target 8 - 12 reps, hold the weight as long as needed and breathe as long as needed to get the remaining reps to get to 20 total reps. Use as long as it takes as this technique is about getting to 20 reps, no matter how long you rest between each rep.

Moderate Rest Period Drop Sets (MRPDS): Drop sets with a twist. You get 30 seconds rest between sets as you drop the weight.

Forced Reps: You continue a set after reaching muscular failure by having a partner, or machine, help with subsequent reps.

Advanced Weightlifting Techniques

1. You complete a first set, usually using an 8 - 12 RM weight until you hit failure and then rerack the weight. 
2. Take ~5 breaths (about 10 seconds rest) and do another set and continue this pattern until you can no longer get any reps.

Cluster Sets: This mechanism involves taking a form of intranet rest. You rest in between every rep or cluster of reps instead of only at the end of the set. 
Example is x weight x 2 reps, rest 10 seconds and do another 2 reps, rest, another 2 reps.

Bloodflow Restriction: You occlude a muscle with an occlusion device or wrap to restrict blood flow. You are able to use lower weights and still fatigue the muscle.

Post Activation Potentiation: You lift a moderately heavy weight for low reps (usually 1-3 reps at around 85-90% of 1RM) which "potentiates" your nervous system. Next, you perform an explosive movement: a Jump, Sprint or Throw. The heavy weight allows you to express greater power on the subsequent explosive exercise.